HARTFORD, CONN. — Overtime was needed, but the Williams College men's hockey team is now top dog in NESCAC.
Zander Masucci's goal 37 seconds into overtime gave the ninth-ranked Ephs a hard-fought 5-4 win over No. 7, and defending NCAA Division III champion Trinity Friday night. The national rankings are from the USCHO.com Division III poll.
With the win, Williams (14-4-1, 10-2-1 in NESCAC) takes over the top spot in the conference and is the leader in the clubhouse for home ice should the Ephs make it to the tournament semifinals. Williams would hold the tiebreaker over Trinity by virtue of having swept the season series.
"Obviously when you play the defending national champions, they are going to play like how we saw," Williams coach Bill Kangas said in a release. "So it was a nice win over a strong team, but now we have to shift into focusing on tomorrow, a new day and a new matchup. These were two big points, but we now need to be ready for tomorrow, that is our mindset."
Williams travels to Wesleyan today.
Twice in the game, Williams had to come from behind. It was 3-2 Trinity when freshman Roberto Cellini scored at 8:12 of the third period. But when George Hunkele scored at 15:51, his second goal of the game, the Ephs led 4-3.
With 1:21 left, Trinity pulled goalie Nathaniel Heilbron. Twenty five seconds later, Anthony Sabitsky scored the tying goal.
In overtime, Ross Mandigo's shot off the opening faceoff was stopped by Eph goalie Michael Pinios. Williams came down and Tyler Young set up Masucci for the game winner.
Pinios had 29 saves on 33 shots, while Heilbron had 16 saves on 21 shots.
TRINITY 4, WILLIAMS WOMEN 2
WILLIAMSTOWN >> Visiting Trinity (10-7-1, 4-6-1) jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead against Williams (11-8-0, 7-6-0), and held on down the stretch.
Williams trailed 3-1 late in the third period when Trinity's Kelcie Finn was whistled for hooking. Down two goals, Williams coach Meghan Gillis pulled goalie Christina Cleroux, giving the Ephs a 6-on-4 power play. The Ephs mustered six shots at net and Trinity goalie Sydney Belinskas made two saves.
The Bantams scored an empty-net goal with nine seconds left on the power play. Cheeky Herr, whose sister Sarah played at Williams, shot the puck into the empty net.
Michaela Levine had a goal and an assist for Willilams.
WILLIAMS WOMEN 65, WESLEYAN 63
WILLIAMSTOWN >> Amanni Fernandez made sure that the Williams women's basketball team would keep its winning streak alive.
Fernandez hit two free throws with 3 seconds left in the game broke a tie as the Ephs rallied to beat Wesleyan. The win was Williams' third straight win and fifth in their last six games.
Williams is now 16-5, 4-3 in NESCAC, while Wesleyan falls to 7-13 and 1-7.
With 2:32 left in the fourth quarter, Wesleyan's Brenna Diggins scored on a put-back to give the Cardinals a 63-60 lead. The Williams defense turned on the pressure, and did not allow a point the rest of the way. In fact, the Cardinals were 0 for 4 the rest of the way. Chynna Bailey missed a layup with a chance to tie as the buzzer sounded.
Williams had five players scoring in double figures, including sophomore guard Kristen Fechtelkotter, who scored a career-high 13 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the floor.
Fernandez led the Ephs with 14 points, and had quite the unusual line on the scoresheet. She had five rebounds, seven assists, three steals and a career-high 12 turnovers. Katie Litman had 13 points and 11 rebounds for her third consecutive double-double. Lauren McCall had 11 points and Devon Caveney 10.
Danielle Gervacio had 17 points to lead Wesleyan.
WESLEYAN 66, WILLIAMS MEN 63
MIDDLETOWN, CONN. >> On Dec. 5, Wesleyan's B.J. Davis beat Williams on a buzzer-beating jump shot. Friday night, he did it again.
Davis hit a 3 pointer with two seconds remaining to break a tie and give the Cardinals a 66-63 win over the Ephs.
Williams (13-7, 3-3) was led by Ed Flynn's 15 points, while Dan Aronowitz had 13 and Cole Teal 12. Kyle Scadlock had only eight points, but pulled down 10 rebounds.
There were 10 ties and nine lead changes in a game that saw Williams lead by as many as eight points with 14 minutes to play in the game, and Wesleyan to storm back and take a six-point lead with 2:51 left. That came on a 3-pointer by Davis, making it 62-56.
From there, the Ephs held the Cardinals to one point until the very end.
Bobby Casey's 3-point play with 37 seconds left tied the score at 63. After a Wesleyan time out, Davis missed a trey. But Rashid Epps got the offensive rebound and Davis made the shot on his second chance.
Davis finished with a team-high 24 points, while Jack Mackey added 15.